After a thorough examination of the scientific evidence and careful consideration of public comments, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday that greenhouse gases threaten public health and the welfare of the American people. EPA also finds that GHG emissions from on-road vehicles contribute to that threat.
GHGs are the primary driver of climate change, which can lead to hotter, longer heat waves that threaten the health of the sick, poor or elderly; increases in ground-level ozone pollution linked to asthma and other respiratory illnesses; as well as other threats to the health and welfare of Americans.
“These long-overdue findings cement 2009’s place in history as the year when the U.S. Government began addressing the challenge of greenhouse-gas pollution and seizing the opportunity of clean-energy reform,” said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. “Business leaders, security experts, government officials, concerned citizens and the United States Supreme Court have called for enduring, pragmatic solutions to reduce the greenhouse gas pollution that is causing climate change. This continues our work toward clean energy reform that will cut GHGs and reduce the dependence on foreign oil that threatens our national security and our economy.”
EPA’s endangerment finding covers emissions of six key greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride – that have been the subject of scrutiny and intense analysis for decades by scientists in the United States and around the world. President Obama and Administrator Jackson have publicly stated that they support a legislative solution to the problem of climate change and Congress’ efforts to pass comprehensive climate legislation.